Telstra shares nudge $5 as the chase for yield continues
Telstra's rising share price finished within a breath of breaking the $5 barrier on Tuesday, the highest in almost eight years.
The stock is one of the best-performing blue chips on the ASX so far this year.
Its shares have risen 11 per cent since the Coalition announced its plan to build a cheaper version of the national broadband network. Most importantly for investors, the Coalition promised that Telstra would still be in line for receiving an $11 billion windfall for disconnecting its copper network.
Telstra's performance looks even stronger over nearly two years. Its shares hit a low of $2.56 in mid-November 2010, but closed at $4.98 on Tuesday - an increase of 94 per cent for those who caught the stock at the bottom.
The rise comes as Telstra is expected to unveil its 4G subscribers number on Wednesday. In a flat mobile market, Telstra is the only carrier making headway in signing up new subscribers.
Investors are flocking to Telstra shares as a safe haven, given recent volatility in equity markets and especially after the collapse in gold prices. Shareholders are attracted to Telstra's steady flow of dividends, now at 28¢ a share.
UBS has questioned whether the shares can increase further.
"We believe further share price appreciation is limited. A more rational pricing environment, market share momentum, cost out and 4G upside are now priced in," analyst Richard Eary said.
Telstra is outpacing rivals in rolling out the superfast 4G network across the country. That network is expected to cover 66 per cent of the population by next month.
The first-mover advantage in the 4G market is positioning Telstra to take advantage of the expected explosion in data traffic.